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Interpreting NatureThe Emerging Field of Environmental Hermeneutics$
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Forrest Clingerman, Brian Treanor, Martin Drenthen, and David Utsler

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780823254255

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823254255.001.0001

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The Question Concerning Nature

The Question Concerning Nature

(p.201) Chapter 10 The Question Concerning Nature
Interpreting Nature

Sean McGrath

Fordham University Press

In Ecology without Nature, Timothy Morton breaks with the folksy and somewhat frumpy environmental holism of the ’70s and ’80s, and confirms the growing conviction in continental philosophical circles of a necessary movement beyond phenomenological critiques of calculative science to hypermodern reinscriptions of technological thinking. In this essay, the author argues that Ecology without Nature does not, in fact, challenge the dominant twentieth-century discourse. For Morton, any experience of nature as organic whole, the universe of meaning, can only be the result of a substitution of a psycho-genetically structured totality for the material chaos of the universe. The authors makes a case for questioning Morton’s rejection of “premodern” cosmology and argues for a reconsideration of alternative models of material interdependence. The author discusses one model central to the Renaissance philosophy of nature, hermetic holism, which offers us a strong theory of interdependence but does not implicate us in a posthuman meta-narrative.

Keywords:   Morton, Timothy, Ecology without Nature, Zizek, Slavoj, hermetic holism, modernism, ontology, cosmology, structuralism, physis, Environmental philosophy

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